What You Need to Know
I am bombarded with journal articles and research studies that undeniably indicate the role of vitamin D in cancer prevention. I have lectured and written on this topic before, especially when it comes to supporting your immune system, but I will now continue to further ingrain this topic into your head. It may just save your life.
Vitamin D3 supplementation is probably one of the most important things you can do to protect your body from disease. Its effects on genes are so powerful that a deficiency in vitamin D over an extended period of time has been associated with twenty-two types of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and a host of other modern chronic diseases. What’s most important is its powerful effect on the immune system. Adequate levels of vitamin D in the body have been shown to increase the body’s natural supply of what are called antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). These are small fragments of amino acids, the building blocks of protein, that have very beneficial effects on the immune system’s ability to fight against several types of germs, including viruses and bacteria.
Study after study suggests current rates of cancer in this country could be reduced dramatically by taking 6,000 to 10,000 units of vitamin D daily. Research has also shown that vitamin D3 supplementation provides protection from the flu.
Based on the most recent research, the current recommendation for dosage is 35 IUs of vitamin D per pound of body weight. So, for a child weighing forty pounds, the recommended average dose would be 1,400 IUs daily, and for a 170-pound adult, the dose would be nearly 6,000 IUs.
However, it’s important to realize that vitamin D requirements are highly individual, as your vitamin D status is dependent on numerous factors, such as the color of your skin, your location, and how much sunshine you’re exposed to on a regular basis. Living in Western New York or anywhere near the Great Lakes predisposes us to vitamin D deficiency.
Thankfully, most doctors are now testing vitamin D levels in their patients. The correct test your doctor needs to order is 25(OH)D, also called 25-hydroxyvitamin D, which is the better marker of overall vitamin D status. This is the marker most strongly associated with overall health. The “normal” 25-hydroxyvitamin D lab range is between 20-56 ng/ml. Experts now feel that anything below 32ng/ml is considered a severe deficiency that will ultimately increase your risk for all cancer types and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, type II diabetes, hypertension, and osteoporosis, just to name a few.
The optimal value that you’re looking for is 50-75 ng/ml. Anything above 120 ng/ml is considered too high, and I personally have yet to see this, even on those taking 10,000 IU per day. This range applies for everyone; children, adolescents, adults, and seniors.
Vitamin D3 is so easy to take. My favorite form is in an olive oil base. One drop provides 2000 IU. I commonly recommend three to five drops daily. This appears to raise blood levels far better than the prescribed dose of 50,000 IU per week that is often prescribed by many healthcare practitioners—including myself.
Even if Western New York were in the sunniest part of the country, I would still continue to take my daily dose of Vitamin D3. The protection is priceless!
Catherine Stack (RN, ND) is a practicing Doctor of Naturopathy, Certified Nurse Midwife, and the founder and CEO of Journey II Health Center for Rejuvenation. Her book, Free Yourself from a CONSTIPATED Life, is available on Amazon. Visit her website at journeyiihealth.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.